01 Oct

Subject: Reply from U.S. Senator Pat Toomey
September 30, 2022
Dear Steve,Thank you for contacting me about the mental health of our nation's veterans. I appreciate hearing from you.Pennsylvania has one of the largest populations of veterans in the country. In light of their tremendous sacrifices, our nation owes them a debt of gratitude and must uphold its commitments. Although our nation faces tough fiscal times, I understand how important it is that we continue to provide quality medical care and other benefits to all veterans, both to those who served a generation ago and to those just returning from fighting in the war against terrorism.Mental health is an essential component of the care we provide to veterans. It is unacceptable that some veterans cannot access the mental health care they deserve. We must reverse this trend and ensure that high quality mental health care is more accessible. I have worked closely with veterans' organizations and other Senators on this issue, and have supported legislation that addresses veterans' mental health.Specific to your concerns, Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA-41) introduced the Support The Resiliency of Our Nation’s Great (STRONG) Veterans Act (H.R. 6411) on January 18, 2022. Among its provisions, this legislation would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to hire additional mental health professionals, expand veteran eligibility for certain mental health services, and create an outreach program for veterans who have recently left the military. H.R. 6411 passed the House of Representatives on June 6, 2022 and is now pending before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, of which I am not a member. Please be assured I will keep your thoughts in mind should this measure come before the full Senate for consideration. Thank you again for your correspondence. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on additional ways to help ensure the welfare of our veterans and their families. Please feel free to contact me in the future if I can be of any assistance.Sincerely,

Pat Toomey
U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania

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